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After Victory, Charlie Baker Begins Transition03:43
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Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, along with Lt. Gov.-elect Karyn Polito, take questions after Election Day. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, along with Lt. Gov.-elect Karyn Polito, take questions after Election Day. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
This article is more than 5 years old.

Charlie Baker finally got to declare victory Wednesday afternoon, about 11 hours after it became pretty clear he had won the race for Massachusetts governor.

He didn't have the chance to deliver a victory speech with fanfare and confetti on Election Night.

Instead, he waited for Democrat Martha Coakley to officially concede the race Wednesday morning. And then he declared victory in a low-key way, meeting with reporters in a much smaller ballroom than his Election Night party.

He made a brief statement and struck a gracious tone when he was asked if he felt robbed of a celebration.

"The fact that the Coakley campaign wanted to wait until all the votes were in. Look, I've been on both sides of this. I thought that was a perfectly reasonable position for them to take," he said.

In typical Baker fashion, he then turned his attention to the logistics of what's next.

"I think the first thing we're gonna do really is focus on the team, focusing on hiring great people," he said. "Great people in the end is how you build great administrations, great organizations and do great things, and that's where we're going to focus our effort."

Baker traveled to the State House to meet with Gov. Deval Patrick and discuss the transition. Both Baker and Patrick described their meeting as productive.

Patrick had campaigned heavily for Coakley and in recent days he questioned Baker's authenticity. But none of that animosity was in the air Wednesday.

"Campaign's over. Campaign's over. We're looking ahead, we're both looking ahead. It's really important to the commonwealth that this be a serious, thoughtful and helpful transition and we're committed to that on both sides," Patrick said. "And we, I think as citizens, not just as people in public life, want our governors to succeed. And I want Charlie to succeed."

"Great people ... is how you build great administrations, great organizations and do great things, and that's where we're going to focus our effort."

Charlie Baker

Patrick refuses to read Baker's win as a referendum on his own tenure in office and says anyone who's serious about ensuring the state functions well will now rally around Baker.

The election was one of the closest in recent state history. The final tally shows Charlie Baker won by about 40,000 votes.

And Baker is keen to point out that's partly because he performed better in cities than he did four years ago. He didn't win cities, but he's made urban issues a priority.

In fact, after meeting with Patrick, Baker's next stop was a visit to The Base in Roxbury. It's a baseball youth mentoring program run by one of his key supporters, Robert Lewis Jr.

"He is not going to be able to address every urban issue that folks might want to address, but I actually think the issues that matter around education, economic equity, jobs, resource, access to capital, are things that are his strong suit," Lewis said. "And I feel like it's gonna be available and accessible to everyone no matter what your ZIP code is."

Latinos and African-Americans here at The Base cheered for Baker.

"One of our major tenets in the campaign has been that while our economy is doing OK relative to other places, we need to do better in certain places that really haven't some of the economic lift in other parts of Massachusetts," Baker said.

Baker also said that means replicating projects that work in under-served communities.

His visit also was also a goodwill gesture. It was an effort to suggest that even as governor, he'll still show up in neighborhoods that are often neglected.

This segment aired on November 6, 2014.

Asma Khalid Twitter Reporter
Asma Khalid formerly led WBUR's BostonomiX, a biz/tech team covering the innovation economy.

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